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Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

CONSTITUTION OF FLORENCE.
account of their condition at home, and owing to  services
rendered to their adopted countries.
Wealth acquired by commerce or manufactures is another
source of hereditary aristocracy. We have seen how, in
trading states like Carthage and Venice, the upper class is
thus for the most part constituted, although there may be a
sprinkling of noble families in younger branches among
them, This may be an origin of a town " patriciate/' but
rarely are such families as have grown rich by trade admitted
to an equality with the old nobility of a country. A few
instances may be cited like the Fuggers of Germany, the
Media's of Florence, and a number of others, and a few in
England in modern times, but in general the spirit of a he*
reditary lanclholding aristocracy looks down on trade and
manufactures as mean employments.
We can only point to other sources of national aristocracy
which play a subordinate part, as the favor of kings to cour-
tiers not noble at first, distinction at the bar, in military ser-
vice, even in literature. Kngland, which has in some respects
ways of replenishing its aristocracy peculiar to itself, will af-
ford many illustrations of such ennoblement.
By no means all nations or races have a nobility proper,
still less a nobility with titles, an aristocratic hierarchy. At
the first all distinction was personal or grounded on what an
ancestor had done ; next was distinction arising from larger
possessions ; then titles were introduced. The Jews had no
nobility proper, they were as a whole people a kingdom of
priests, a holy nation, and brethren with equal rights, religious
and civil. The small influence of the high-priest and upper
priests show that the hierarchy had no great political power*
The inalienability and reversibility of lands belonging to a
family would have prevented an accumulation of that kind of
property in the same hands for a long period, if the law had
been strictly observed. But as we have in the scriptures a
woe denounced on those who join field to field, and a wealthy
class appears by the side of the poor, the institutions must
have become more or less disregarded.  And the frequent ment-
vot. II.7